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tv   Forum Focuses on Opportunities for People with Disabilities  CSPAN  August 28, 2017 12:51pm-3:49pm EDT

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>> food network channel host and author mark summers on the quality for people with disabilities and his challenges with obsessive-compulsive disorder known as ocd. overcoming misperceptions. other disabled people an equal opportunity advocates outline ways congress and businesses can advance the rights of the disabled. >> hello and welcome. my name is jennifer and i am the founder and president of respectability, a nonprofit organization working to fight stigmas and real prejudice and to advance opportunities for people with disabilities. we are a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, and there are 57 million americans with disabilities. we are literally the largest minority group in america and one in every five people in our
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nation have a disability. the majority of people have a loved one with a disability as well and we are the only minority group that anyone can join at any time due to accident , illness or aging. respectability is very proud to be a member of the ccd, a group of more than 110 national disability organizations that want a better future for people with disabilities. as we have seen recently, overall the disability community is quite good at protecting key life-saving benefits and advancing civil rights. with so many great organizations already out there and so many fantastic leaders already in the disability movement, why was there need for yet another disability organization, and what specifically is respectability trying to achieve respectability fundamentally, is
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about the opportunity agenda. we know what people with disabilities and the people who love them want opportunities for education, skills, jobs, independence and a better future just like anyone else. we want bipartisan solutions for people with disabilities and their loved ones, employers and taxpayers alike. respectability would say nothing about us without our organization. we serve people with every kind of disability. i am dyslexic and i know what it means to raise a talented and wonderful child with multiple disabilities. members of our team have a wide variety of disabilities and/or disability experience. respectability has high expectations and knows that every person, whether it's
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physical, developmental, social centrally sensory, all have something great inside they can contribute to this world. people with disabilities come from race, space --, religion, region of the country and more. were all better off when we work to reach our shared goals and dreams of a more welcoming, respectful and inclusive world. key policies have changed it to cut educational opportunity, however employment opportunities for people with disabilities also known as pw d may not significantly improve in decades and the negative attitudes that people with disabilities remain. we stand and sometimes role at
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an important moment in history. only one in four working age people with a disability has a job. indeed, in the cases there may be a part-time job and moreover, in some states it is still legal to pay people with disabilities sub minimum wage. the good news is, however, and other states the outcome is twice as good showing that when there are high expectations and best practices used, wow. success is possible. studies show most working age people with disabilities want jobs. in order for this to happen we need to close the skills gap, fight stigmas and help employers understand the business case, not the charity case for inclusion. today, only 65% of students with disabilities graduate high school.
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only 7% of students were born with disabilities graduate college. schools need to do a lot better by children with disabilities. a lot is also up to families in the natural support for children this can mean faith-based organizations such as churches and synagogues and mosques, it can be nonprofits, mentors and more. to me there is no greater joy than being a parent. let's face it, being a parent of a typically developing child is already challenging. doing the right thing for a child with disabilities, which in my case is the greatest pleasure in the world can also be challenging as well. this is especially true for single parents, new immigrants, and people who are otherwise marginalized. we know children with disabilities are at risk for the
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school to prison pipeline when educational opportunities, early intervention, mentors, and high expectations are not in place. indeed, more than 750,000 people with disabilities are behind bars in our nation today and half of all women who were incarcerated today in america have disabilities. this has a tremendous human and financial cost to our nation. we need to prepare young people with disabilities to excel in science, technology, engineering , mathematics and other careers as well as in starting their own company. today we will get to hear from several amazing people who are twice exceptional. remember that word. they have a disability and they have exceptional talents. each of them make me think about malcolm gladwell's book david and goliath, which extols the
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strengths of people with disability. the traditional ways of doing things don't always work for people with disability. gladwell demonstrates people with diverse talent can find incredible ways to innovate and succeed. some of the greatest companies on earth were started and led by people with disabilities. innovators and leaders are dyslexic. ernst and long young was paralyzed. michigan supreme court justice, the congressman jim, claudia gordon, senators tammy duckworth , judy human, john mccain and 88 champion bob dole and tommy the one armed golfer who you will meet shortly all have physical disabilities and exceptional abilities. additionally, some of the most
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creative people including whoopi goldberg, michael j fox, mark summers who you also meet today and others have disabilities. still, starting your own company in hollywood aren't for everyone we need a wide range of choices. people with disabilities bring unique characteristics to the workplace that benefits employers and organizations. amazon, att, bank of america, starbucks, pepsi, walgreens and others have all shown that employees with disabilities are loyal and help them make more money. for students with developmental disabilities who are not degree bound, who can legally stay in school until their 21 years old, we should enable them to have freedom of choice and to let them choose whether they want to spend the last year of school in the classroom or in a real-world apprenticeship in programs such as project search.
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project search is already serving close to 3000 young people with disabilities each year end they are getting close to a 70% job success rate and competitive integrated employment for youth whose disabilities are significant. project searches for driving under republican governor scott walker and john kasich and democratic governor. this is a bipartisan issue. these apprenticeships enable young workers to have the dignity and income of a job while they are doing a great deal for the bottom line of customer service driven employers and hospitals, hotels and an elder care. again, people with disabilities want to be independent. still, at the same time, some still need to have support. you need to have a system that enables there to be vital
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support such as medicaid and personal care assistants, even for individuals who have jobs. do not need any government stipend to live independently. they should be able to live independently and work in american public policy should recognize that in our healthcare and support system that the dignity and the income in the job is so important. all too often, schools and employers deny young people with disabilities the opportunities they want because they can't imagine that they can be successful. they can't even imagine that people with disabilities can be successful. why is that? because there is a fundamental link between fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities. indeed, i just did a lot of name dropping of successful people and companies with disabilities because research shows that people can't imagine people with disabilities can be successful unless they see it with their
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own i. we don't want people to think that my speech is fake news. feel free to google all the names and the companies and organizations that i mentioned. it's the real deal. it's time for people with disabilities to be seen on the small and large screen and in society overall for what they can do and not for what they cannot. as actress gina davis says, if we see a you can be a. in the past, the betrayal of people with disabilities used the plea principal. it started with the framing of the jerry lewis telethon, five decades of the hand up, excuse me the handout instead of the hand up. additionally, a big part of the challenge today as we will learn more about later today is that we rarely see characters, let alone positive or diverse characters with actual disabilities on either the small
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or large screen. just this weekend i locked watched beauty and the beast with our fabulous children. it has hundreds of characters on screen. there was almost every kind of diversity in this new beauty and the beast except disability. sadly, this is typical. according to glad, only 2% of scripted characters are people with disability even though ten times as many people exist with disabilities in our country. moreover, when there are characters with disabilities, all too often they are portrayed by actors without disabilities who are devoid of authenticity or honest representation of the character they are playing. what are the results of continuing pity images, the results are negative attitudes, stereotypes and stigmas that especially impact millions of children with disabilities and the approximately 300,000 young
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people with disabilities who age into what should be the workforce each year. let me just remind you, in our nation today, only one out of every three working age people with a disability has a job. only one out of three. people with disabilities are the poorest of the poor in america despite the fact that we have talents and energy to bring to the strength of this nation. in order for more people to be in the workforce, we need more talented people with disabilities working in front of and behind the camera. we need to change the narrative of how people see people with disabilities to employers so everyone else can see the ability that people have and how it makes for a better bottom line. it's amazing that such a small change can have such a big impact. we have seen this in the popular reaction to the emmy-winning any tv show, born this way. never before has the reality
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program genuinely shown the lives and love of talented, diverse and passionate young people with developmental disabilities like this. it is fantastic and we are so proud this emmy-winning show was created by our board member, jonathan murray. it's starting to change the direction in hollywood. we are so thrilled with the success which stars micah fowler and has a disability and accurate portrayal of what it takes to raise a child with disabilities. we also look forward to several new shows in starting this fall. we want to see stories in hollywood about what people with disabilities can do. think about it. beautiful music from a deaf man. it happens. beethoven, freedom from somebody with a seizure disorder disorder , it happens.
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harriet tubman. music and civil-rights leadership from someone with learning disabilities, it's happening. recognizing the disability, imagine the possibility, respect the ability. respectability is currently celebrating our fourth birthday. we just expanded our board, elected great new leaders and want people like you, whether you're here in person or you're watching on c-span, to join our effort. i invite you to check us out online at and join us on facebook and twitter. we are currently looking for more young leaders to join our national leadership program for talented and diverse leaders who want to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. there are so many ways you can get involved in our work. in fact, along with local leaders they are creating a
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demonstration project in long beach california. i will be out there very soon along with much of our team the week of august 14. we need your support, involvement in your voice. we also want to thank the office of congressman brad sherman and him personally for making this event possible and lauren and the full team here at respectability for putting this great program together. i especially want to thank mark summers, meg o'connell, tommy morrissey along with our board member who traveled from out of time to join us today. we can't wait to hear from you and everyone else. before we kick off with our first vip teacher, speaker, i invite our board members and our staff and our fellows to please rise if you can or raise your hand if you can't rise so that people can see who you are. donna and ronald and vivian from our board of directors and other
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leaders from our team and our fellows, i hope the people here will meet members of our team and our board. i really say thank you for your service and thank you for what you're doing and especially to these amazing board members who give so much of their heart and their time. this is a team thing. respectability is a movement and we are new and we want people to join us. those of you who are watching on c-span, before i introduce our first speaker, i want to leave us with two words. that is, lead on. thank you. now i want to invite mr. cantos
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to come to the front. i will start introducing him as he comes up. he is a superstar. he is a personal friend and mentor to me. he's been blind since birth and active on civil rights issues for more than 27 years. he presently serves as special assistant to the acting secretary for civil rights at the u.s. department of education former positions include staff attorney and director of outreach and education at the disability rights legal center in los angeles. his special assistant and leader special counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the u.s. department of justice, vice chairman of the president's committee for people with intellectual disabilities, and associate director for domestic policy under president
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george w. bush. i will also say, in addition to his phenomenal professional competent accomplishment that make want make half of our leaders want to be like him, he is also an adoptive dad 23, successful lined triplet boys, each of whom just graduated high school and each of whom was just elevated this past week to the rank of eagle scout, the highest level of achievement within the boy scout of america. we are delighted to have you here today. [applause] >> a morning everyone. i am so pleased to be with all of you here today.
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considering this is the first time for me to address you from a podium setting, in a number of years, i have to say, i have really missed you. it is really good to be back and it is a privilege to be here before you today. my personal thanks to jennifer for her leadership and her ongoing vision and building respectability as a cutting-edge organization that is dedicated to promoting equality of opportunity for persons with all types of disabilities. i stand before you today as special assistant to the acting assistant attorney general, actor acting secretary of civil rights at the u.s. department of education. over the past several years, over the past 27 years of work in serving the disability
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community, i cannot help but think back about all the many ways that life has improved for us since the signing of the landmark americans with disabilities act 27 years ago. when we think back at our lives than, as members of the disability community, we remember when things were different. in looking at all of that has taken place since, we also see, in many ways, how far we have come. there are more employment opportunities for persons with disabilities today, state and local government programs and service programs are more assessable, places of public accommodation are more available and assessable to us, and
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transportation and telecommunications have been areas that have also witnessed significant improvements. and yet, here we are looking at the number of barriers that still remain to our full participation as persons with disabilities. there still remains prevailing myths and misconceptions about persons with physical, psychiatric, intellectual and learning disabilities. for all of us who have disabilities, we work each day to eliminate stigmas that still prevail. there are individuals who wonder about the extent to which we may be successful in the classroom,
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in the workplace as business owners, et cetera. there are those who wonder, even to this day about the extent to which we can be involved in our schools, places of worship, and community in general. but why? the big question that we must all ask ourselves is why. why after all these years do barriers still remain as they do the answer is, because, as much as we each would want, change to calm immediately, as much as we see change in our daily lives, and through our actions, as much as we strive hard to transform attitudes about us, there are
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still other forces in the community that still have yet to learn about what we are truly capable of accomplishing. you and i know he will. the potential me we may reach when we infuse our community with expanded mentorship opportunities in every setting, including within an educational setting as well as with internships and employment opportunities and service in the nonprofit sector and serving in a leadership capacity within a private sector and working out every job, ranging from cleaning the office to running it, there
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in lies our goal. and, when we look at this we think also within an educational context, we think about how, to this day there are still students in communities of every size who are crying out for help there are parents who wonder about the supports available for them and how the discrimination may be addressed. there are families who are hurting, not because of the disability itself is the issue but because of what people think about members of the disability community. that's why, when i look at what we have yet to do, i reflect on various victories that we have
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had in the office for civil rights at the u.s. department of education, within the past several months. case in point, there was a situation in which students who are blind or visually impaired were to take the psat along with their peers. a school did district had offered it for fee free for everyone within the district and yet, in practice what happened was that these students who are blind or visually impaired users did not have their accommodations met, or were accommodated in a way that the accommodations themselves were not submitted for the college board which would mean that the psat scores earned would ultimately be invalidated. because of the office for civil rights, and our vigilance, that
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whole situation has been addressed. the school district agreed to pay for remedial measures to ensure they may prepare for future tests. the school district also agreed to make modifications to policies and practices so as to ensure accommodation for persons with disabilities. there are yet other instances of victory as well within the past few months. an additional example, there was a student who was denied the opportunity to live on campus using her service animal and to have her service animal with her that situation was was a state of affairs for two years. because of our officers involvement, that situation is
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now being remedied and now, that student is able further to live with her service animal on campus. there are so many other situations that i may describe here, literally ranging from physical accessibility of schools and libraries and parking lots and bathrooms to web accessibility to ensure persons with all types of disabilities may gain access to the same information in the same time as everybody else. there is so much yet to do within the area of restraint and seclusion. there was an instance in one school district in which there were hundreds of incidents of use of restraint and seclusion involving dozens of students in
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which there were various injuries reported. again, as a result of the involvement of the office for civil rights, those issues have been and are being addressed directly. because of that, the school district is changing its practices, it is working to make sure to break from most practices of the past and train people on appropriate measures and also, it is working to make sure those past things don't happen again. the school district is also doing more, but there are other instances that are important for us to lay out. bullying continues to be an issue surrounding persons with different types of disabilities. in one particular instance, a
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student who had been bullied and harassed by peers was not receiving the services and support from the school in response to that bullying. again, because of our involvement, that has changed. policies are being reformed. the student is now getting access to a specific question of whom to go whenever there are further instances of bullying. there is a climate survey being issued upon which the school district will act so as to further work to eliminate issues surrounding an unsafe school environment. there are still other issues relating to discipline and
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various instances in which students are not treated appropriately, and when there are situations where students without appropriate safeguards are being disciplined in a manner that is not exactly fair, when you look at these various instances, along with others, these illustrations only serve to show that we have a role in making things better. what if those individuals did not come forward to complain and tell us about these instances of discrimination, those individuals may still be in dire straits today within the situation i have described along with a number of others.
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that is why it's important for us to continue our work, and the role of each of you, we must each continue to be vigilant in learning about rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities. we must share the information available from government sources far and wide so that persons with disabilities will know to where they may turn whenever facing instances of discrimination where they are asking for help. advocacy organizations, consisting of and driven by persons with disabilities must also stay vigilant in working hard for practices and procedures in every aspect of societal life representing changes that will improve the lives of their respected constituencies.
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government, nonprofit agencies, for-profit organizations, and others. we all have a joint responsibility to collaborate across political ideologies from communities of every size and including persons with all types of disabilities. that means, when a person who has a disability different from our own faces instances of discrimination or injustice, we must all be equally vigilant in standing up for their rights and responsibilities as we are vigilant in standing up for our own.
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[applause] so i conclude today as a colleague of yours, respectfully to call upon all of us to act, never to rest on past victories, and always and forever to strive and stand up for a quality and first-class citizenship which includes knowing rights and responsibilities of that citizenship. i also call upon all of you to join with me and everyone elseç here today to redouble our efforts and to expand our commitment to doing whatever we
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can to move forward int( specifc ways, by harnessing our own talents and abilities for the greater good to build the momentum further of promoting this philosophy of equality. as we do, we will be able to look back at some point in the future and say with pride, to further we went because of our own efforts to make things better. thank you so much everybody for the opportunity to be here. [applause] >> this is so fabulous. unfortunately we don't have questions right now but they will be here for a little while
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longer. i'm going to invite stan greenberg to come out. stanley greenberg is the founding partner of the research he is a new york times best-selling author an advisor. he is currently conducting deep research and more than a dozen countries. he was senior pollster for president bill clinton and al gore. tony blair and president nelson mandela and his clients are huge i have had the personal privilege of being able to work with stanley for three decades in different capacities and different countries around the world. the work that he did in south africa to enable better life and equality for people of color in south africa and to make safe
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space for other people in south africa was just extraordinary work. he is now bringing some of his immense talent. the disability movement is quite fortunate to have his mind around some of our issues. we look forward to hearing with you -- hearing from you. [applause] >> thank you very much. above all, poster to respectability, that was all building up to the skills you needed to be in the front lines in this fight and i'm always admiring jennifer's unbelievable energy, focus and intensity. when she sets yourself out to
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achieve a goal, i have no doubt we will make progress. i'm happy to be here. we had the good fortune to begin to pull together with republican partner over the past few years. initially for national public radio, but then for respectability to look at the disability community, both those with disabilities, and begin to normalize, relate to them in the context of the political world of which issues are being joined part of the reason we are here on capitol hill is because we know there are decisions made in institutions across the country that will shape people's opportunities, and what comes through in the purpose of
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jennifer's address, and to the fellows and others that i've met in this organization is this belief that, if you recognize people special talents, provide an opportunity, there is no limit to what people can reach. so we began in a political context to bring this community into the normal discussion, the normal issues being addressed, and what you will see in the data is that, first of all its large, pay attention. the numbers of people who support their own disabilities, i can't see the charts, i have to turn this way, this describes
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the survey that we did in the basic point, the starting point is just don't underestimate the size of this community and how much the issues matter. i think you will see these are changed voters. my guess is they are even more so now. they are policy agenda matters for democrats and republicans and independents. there is strong support for dealing with abuse and discrimination, but in some ways there's even stronger support for people having education and job opportunities that is key to really achieving a successful outcome. there is a strong embrace of a narrative in the public that is one central to your work that
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says people with a lifetime of work, people who work hard not to be able to succeed in this applies to this community as well, and pay attention because these voters will make their voices heard. and finally, i thought i would bring in, because of the current polling, data that we have on medicaid and on healthcare because as we've seen in the protest that have emerged in the debate over health care reform, support has risen as well as support for broad-based access to healthcare, and i think if we were looking further we would also say education and the kinds of things that are also critical to give people who work hard more opportunities.
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>> looking at the size of the community, and now we have jennifer's data, but this is self-reported data. you see one third of people report that they have disabilities. we are dealing with essentially half the population that has a disability connection and about half that do not. there's a very large portion, when we asked people how interested they are in politics, what you will see is that people with disabilities in the middle, 70% are giving the highest score on the level of interest in voting on the election. this was a poll done right before the election of 2016. they are as interested as people who have no disability connection. if you look at the next line you will see these are changed voters.
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we know obviously 16 was a change election. if you look at the wrong track number for people with disabilities, if you went across the people who have a disability connection, that's where you get the highest percentage of person people saying they want change. again, this was done in an election that we know was a disruptive election where people voted for change. the disability community was part of that and they were expressing it. in this survey, we saw were people were hearing what the different candidates were saying about disability, but here i'm simply trying to -underscore that the disability community is a community and we were most insistent on change. if we go to the next line, we tested a range of policy. these are just those at the top.
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what's interesting is, you will see at the top, children and adults with disabilities, that wouldn't be a surprise that that would be the thing people are most likely to vote for in a candidate if their candidate were expressing it, but pay attention to the next two. you will see how important these two are the disability community itself and people with disabilities themselves. they need to get the education and training they need to succeed, 61% are much more likely to support candidate. expanding job capabilities so they can succeed just like everyone else, almost 60% think they are much more likely to vote for a candidate that raises those. in the next slide, you can see there's also interest and willingness to vote on other
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issues. the things at the top are addressing abuse and creating education and job opportunities. if you look at people who are democrats or independents, leaning democratic, it's ensuring children with disabilities get the job training they need. you'll say it significantly above anything else. when you get the democrats and independents who leaned democratic they are focused on education and training, republicans are more likely to focus on children.
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the next slide, let's go to the slide after that. this is looking at the results on rape with people with disabilities. you can see they make that the highest connection. that's where you see the highest levels of support. if you going to the middle with people disabilities, 78% strongly are focused on ensuring children with disabilities get education and training they need to succeed. i think is important we focus on that. these are people with disabilities themselves. obviously, we heard in the previous discussion and that important presentation, the issues people face both at work and education, but what does a
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disability community itself or those with disabilities what are the most focused on. you will see what their most focused on his getting education training and getting job opportunities as something that's most important. expanding job opportunities, vacancy 56% with disabilities are giving the highest intensity to getting education and access to jobs, so if you think about this community and this organization, there's a real connection for our politics to produce leaders and understand the ties of this community and its priorities and its needs which are much more aspirational which is so central to everything you're trying to inspire. we tested our overall message and overall theme, but looking at these issues, you can see what comes out of the top is
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that we were founded on principle that anyone who works hard should be able to get ahead people deserve the opportunity to it earning income just like everyone else. if you look at the whole range of other kinds of framework, for the issues that this community faces, that goes across the job. what we are saying is recognize the size of the community, these are changed voters, that are involved, but what they want above all are for policies that expand opportunity and for a kind of politics that is focused on their values which is hard work being rewarded and that is central to american life. let's carry on to the medicaid.
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it may be a stretched medicaid, but we know how important and central this is. it came to the debate over what was happening in the pre-radical changes that were being proposed on medicaid, both in the healthcare, but also in the ongoing budget and how central medicaid is to disabilities for the healthcare that those in the community get. this is a measure of whether you feel warm or cold about medicaid no other description, just the word medicaid. the bold number is people feeling very warm, very favorable about medicaid. what you see is the african-american and hispanic
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community are very strong but if you look at different segments, unmarried women, millennial's, in which you see 50% giving a warm response, three times giving a favorable response, white working-class women are one of the groups that were critical of what happened in this election. to the one-on-one versus negative. medicaid is viewed very favorably. people understand medicaid on both older americans in long-term care but they also understand its importance for disabilities and that was very much part of a pullback from some of the medicaid cuts. modestly this issue is not over as we've seen in the long-term budget. it still part of the main discussion. we should just know that the country is actually very favorable with medicaid. in fact, support for medicaid is the reason over the past six
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months, as people have seen, and what you discover as people become more educated. i will just finish. this has been done as wallpaper and maybe a metaphor. this is the question in which we ask, in this case weather is at the government's responsibility to make sure everyone has health care. what you see, the tracking of that line over time, what you see is this dramatic change over the past six months of the number of people who say yes. it's from 60% now saying it's the responsibility of the government to make sure everyone has health care. now, what's also happening is there is a surge in people saying the government has a
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responsibility of a whole range of areas including education opportunities which are also central to the policy priorities of the disability community and this organization. we had a change election in which the disabled community was a significant part of wanting to vote for change. they have policy agenda that people need to pay attention too we know from the polling, we know we can look at medicaid and what's happening on healthcare and people value those institutions, organizations that are providing support in the area of healthcare and education , and that is likely the context. my guess is the community is even more determined to see change that was at the time of the election.
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as jennifer indicated that the very beginning, this is the one community that can face this issue at any time in life. therefore it's constantly growing and also an agenda that gets before the attention of policymakers so they pay attention to the very important changes this community wants. thank you. [applause] >> unfortunately we don't have time for questions but if you have a question you can e-mail it to respectability and we will get back to you. thank you. [applause] i'm going to bring up our next speaker and invite gerard robinson to join me up front. he is one of our newest board members so welcome to our board of directors.
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he is a resident fellow in education policy studies at the american enterprise institute where he works on education, policy issues including choice in public school and private school, regulatory development and implementation of k-12 laws, the role of for-profit institution and education, and i got to know him through his tremendous work on criminal justice reform which has been really exciting work on criminal justice reform around education and reentry, rule education and the role of community colleges and historically black colleges in universities at the hbc you in and fast advancement. i'm very proud we have three graduates on our board of directors. we really represent. he has tremendous experience on these issues and we have come to
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collaborate with him very closely. again, he has recently joined our board and i look forward to hearing from you. welcome. thank you very much. >> the morning. it's always an honor to be in congress, always an honor to be with people who are interested in elevating conversations about opportunity. when we look at the american with disabilities act and the fact that 27 years ago it became law, i am someone who likes public policy and language. in preparation for this, i decided to take a look at the words of george bush was then-president who signed the law july 26, 1990. it's interesting to look at a few of his words to set the tone for my presentation. he said, today i am signing senate bill 933, the americans with disabilities act of 1990. in this extraordinary year, we have seen our own declaration of
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independence inspire a march to freedom throughout eastern europe. it is altogether fitting that the american people would have, once again, given a clear expression to our most basic ideas of freedom and equality. the americans with disability act represents our democratic principles and it gives me great pleasure to sign this law today. when he mentioned the declaration of independence, it wasn't fully to make a historic note that 214 years to the day or to the month that he signed the law, we had actually pushed for a declaration of independence. part of the reason, but also, when he was as president of the united states working under president ronald reagan, in february 1986, he received, from the national council on disability, a report. do you want to know the title? ford independent, and assessment of federal regulation and programs for affected persons with disability.
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that report played a tremendous role in helping him think about what the disability community needed and more importantly what he could do as president to help i would recommend that everyone in this room who is watching, go online and take a look for ford independence because there is a lot of interesting information in there. particularly to see how far we've moved from 1986 to 2017. their educational opportunity laws, employment, distinctiveness to work under social security laws, prevention of disabilities, transportation, housing, community-based services for independent living, children with disabilities, personal assistance, and also coordination. there were two of particular interest to me. also employment. the term education appeared 146 times on that report. a few times you found it under employment.
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what was interesting, in 1986, nearly two thirds of the people who finished high school, one third finished high school, graduated and went to college or went to study advanced level, but two thirds of the students did not. in 2017, the numbers were a little better, still not where we want them but they were in pretty bad shape. there were 12.9 million people who were working in the united states. 8.7 million people, who identify with disabilities were not in the workforce. that's nearly 68%. 2017, a little better than we were, we still have a lot of challenges but we've got a long way to go. under education, they had some recommendations for members of congress but i want you to listen to them and see if you hear the same thing today. number one, congress should amend the education for all handicapped children act to
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encourage states to make available a free, appropriate public education for every disabled child in the united states. we know that was passed in 1975, later they changed their name. the fact that in 1990 we had to push for free and appropriate education for all students, particularly students with disabilities, many of you in this room, this seems like a given. in the early part of american history, that was the case. number two, congress should direct the department of education to promulgate and enforce standards for the application of the least restrictive environment for students. fast-forward to 2014, approximately 95% of our students with disabilities are in regular classes and there's a definition for that. approximately 3% find themselves in a separate classes, public or private schools. about 1% find them in private schools and the rest are in different positions. back in the 80s and early '90
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s, trying to mainstream our children had been a challenge. while we are not where we want to be, we have made progress. hours first speaker mentioned we still have some challenges present. third, congress should direct the office of special education problems programs to fund a national assistance center. right now in doe, there are a number of assistance programs that support what's taking place in the states. while we are having a conversation about the federal government, we know a great deal of stuff will take place at the local level and congress should direct the secretary of education and the chairperson for the national council for the handicap to create a commission to create a special report. for show of hands, how many of you think, and 2017 those four recommendations are relevant today. >> i would raise my hand as well we've made some progress but we
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still have some more to go. i've had a chance to see this work, particularly at the state level. i have had a leadership position in virginia and florida and that gave me an opportunity to see what was like to work with students and families and students with disabilities. we know nationally we have about 6.6 million students, approximately 13% of the population were students with disabilities. when you begin to desegregate the data you see some interesting figures that the previous speaker mentioned in his point. although 66% of students with disabilities graduate with a traditional high school diploma, let's take a look at what students fall under that. 72% of white students, 71% of asians, 67% of pacific islanders , 64% of students with two or more races, 61% american indian, and alaskan native and 59% hispanic and 57%
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african-american. we know that will be a challenge we know approximately 14% of students who graduate with alternative certificate. not a diploma but it prepares you in some states for postsecondary opportunities as well as jobs. we take a look at the demographics. 17% of hispanics and african-americans actually receive an alternative certificate. 16% of asians received it, 13% of two or more races, 11% of right whites, 9% american indian and 8% pacific islander. we see some major gaps in terms of his taking advantage and who has an opportunity to graduate with regular diploma. those receiving a certificate, we can forget the number of students who drop out. 18% of students who drop out our students with disabilities. we know from the early statement , we know there is only
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7% who are going to complete college and that will be a big challenge for us. when we decide we are going to make this a serious issue, we have to realize it bipartisan. when i took a look at the votes in 1990, republicans and democrats voted for it. the number of senators who did not vote for it, it was republicans and democrats both who said the same thing. this issue is only going to grow with time because the science is helping us as policymakers to understand what it means to have a child or family member with a disability. the employment community is also beginning to educate us more on what it's like to have employees with disabilities, what we can do better for policy and programming. we also have to realize this is a political issue people feel very important about across the board. i'm glad to be a part of the respectability family.
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i'm glad that this is a multi- partisan, very different diverse group of people who decided to come together because we believe opportunity matters and we believe it matters for people with disability. i'm glad to be a part of the conversation. i look forward to using my expertise to advance this dialogue. >> thank you. [applause] >> do you have time for question from the audience. if you want to ask question, raise your hand. make sure you get a microphone. let me ask, you've done a lot of work on the kernel justice system and a lot of work, so what is this race between children with disabilities in the lower attainment for people of color and for new immigrants with disabilities. what do you see as some of the same things that need to be done
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>> we know, at least of last year, nearly a million cases were heard by juvenile judges at the juvenile justice level. nearly a million cases. a sizable number were students with disabilities. on the one hand, i'm glad to say that the research that was looked at from the department of justice that nearly 85% of the juvenile justice centers, whether that's correctional center were homebound or group home are starting to make sure these young people who come in are being assessed for a disability. some centers have done a better job of providing services to those students and others so we've got more work to do there. number two, we know we have nearly two-point to million people incarcerated in our prisons, both state and federal across the country. we know a number of them have mental and other challenges in place. i recently had senator grassley from iowa at aei and we had a
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conversation about, justice reform. someone from the d.c. prosecutor 's office said, do you realize when people leave, let's say jail and actually come out that only 10% actually have access to the services they need the congressman shook his head. it's something we all know. let's be very clear, this isn't a knowledge problem as much as it's a political will problem. when we want to change something , we seem to find the money. if we want to chain change something we seem to have a political will to do so. there is a correlation between the number of students who drop out and find themselves incarcerated. we know number of high school students who drop out had an iep or a qualified 504. we now find them as adults in our prison system. while correctional education services that usually provide high school diplomas, ged, certificates in prison and while
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there are some programs, some universities working with those who never completed high school diplomas but they're also working with students with disabilities to bring them up to speed in prison as adults. frankly, not give them a second chance but to give many of them a first chance. frankly, we can learn a lot from advocates, families, and those at the local level. judges can play a big role in this, prosecutors can play a big role in this and so can probation officers. there's work to be done. i'm glad to be here. >> is or someone from the audience who has a question? if so, please raise your hand and identify yourself. >> please say your name and affiliation.
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>> is there another question from the audience? >> scene there's no questions, what i would like to do is july 17 1776 was the declaration of independence. let's also remember that hundred years later they approve the 14 th amendment and that's the equal protection clause and that has. played a tremendous role in advancing the rights of students with this abilities. let's recognize july of that year as well.
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when people are watching on c-span, and they are hearing this information about the number of students were not achieving a high school diploma, students with disabilities who are not achieving their college diploma, young adults who are dropping out of school or getting suspended and going into the juvenile justice and criminal justice system, what is your advice for people watching on c-span? what can they do to really make these issues more widely known or to create change? >> i would say educate and advocate. take advantage of the information known to the public at the u.s. department of education. 99% of the statistics i've used, i will write this stuff and put it into reports and submitted to jennifer and also make it
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available on my website. so the educate educate part is. the second part is the advocate. make sure when you talk to people, make sure you share the information and tell them to share with others. there's a lot more we know in 2017 then we did in 1990. again the brain and health sciences tells great deal. this is a good time to be a part
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of this movement and it's even a better time to advocate on behalf of families and children. >> great. i have one more question. how do you work with people you don't agree with? because right now in america you have people to vote democratic and watched msnbc, just people who vote republican and a watch box. if you want to move legislation like the americans with disabilities act or i.d.e.a. or the workforce innovation opportunities act, all of that was bipartisan. so how do you talk to come work with and create positive outcomes with people that you don't agree with across-the-board? >> for many of the millennials you are too young to have had an opportunity to see bipartisanship at the federal government in a real way. and so i would say go to youtube. watch congress in the '80s and the '90s. that's not saying they were not challenges. remember, a republican president
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signed this, bill supported by both democrats and republicans. here's what i do in 2017. do you believe in opportunity? i haven't heard a republican or democrat say no. do you believe children should have opportunities with access to a great education? i don't think many do some -- disagree. deeply students are discriminate against in the workplace and at school? they will say probably so although there's -- et cetera the look. then i say how many of you actually know someone with a disability? both republicans and democrats identified someone in the family, some of the work with or someone they know. so for the most part is bipartisan. the partisanship of course comes with what the law and legislation you put together. if we keep the children first and put adult eagles on the back burner, that's a step in the right direction. but it would be the partisanship -- egos.
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if we leave with talking points given to us by a lobbyist, i like lobbyist for the record, and if you lead with the ideas you're only doing this because it's a sound bite that will help you get elected, those of the wrong reasons. i go back to what george bush said. any idea what flour and their diverse and that will happen from bipartisanship. i start with those questions, find, granted they will find where there's room for implementation. >> fabulous. [applause] >> you mentioned about opportunities and policy and education. so i recently, my name is amelia, i'm a policy file at respectability. i recently attended an event called unshackled which is women
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incarceration. senator booker was there and he mentioned that when you're dealing with the incarcerated population, that upon reentry back into something society that they face a 40,000 collateral consequences with having a criminal conviction and a criminal record. what has the aei looked at for them with regard to like intersect between the 7,500,000 people with disabilities and then the 2.2 million for being incarcerated and upon reentry level both whether it's the juvenile justice entry-level or when they are adults up on coming out help them be successful and to help regress the reentry and people going back to prison? >> so cory booker has been a champion of criminal justice reform. his team and i think conversations to see how a guy can be helpful. to the aei question, we're working with jennifer to provide
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us with information and data to keep us informed on how policy and research to make the better it so there's a partnership. number two, jennifer and i worked together. she's a part of the working group that we have with 52 52 people across the country, advocates, scholars, policy people but also return citizen. it's tough to have conversations about return citizen and not have any return citizens in the river some of them in fact, after submission they are disabilities. a part of the conversation. third, aei is working on a book and there's a chapter focused on women who are incarcerated and their children. within the sections is going to be a section about women with disabilities. the second is being taken care of at the university of baltimore, a fellow with the society and she is part of her fellowship to create a program to work with women to try to address some of those issues. it's been relationships like
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this that helps bring up my literature and research. there's more aei can do on our side. the part about women, it's important to give nearly a 400% increase in the number of women who've gone to prison. we know a number of majority of the women in state and federal prison who are women by their our monster often when they leave that was the economic breadwinner and there's another social benefits that are off to the left if we know 5 million children this morning, 5 million woke up not to hear good morning from one. because one parent is incarcerated. so there's a lot of this that intertwines with each other. at adis perspective for the last two years we've made criminal justice reform and education a part of our work so we're still in early stages but to partnerships with respectability and questions from fellows like yourself, we will get stronger with time. >> thank you. partially we don't have time for more questions right now thank you so much.
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>> thank you. >> really appreciate it. [applause] >> if people have more questions you can always e-mail me later and we can connect you up. i'm really excited, you going to meet one of our fellows. we have a national young leadership program we are very proud of. christopher leads the program turkeys running our av but he's a fabulous director of our national fellowship program we invite people from across the country to apply for this program for talented individuals with and without disabilities who want to really be at the lead of the disability rights movement and the opportunity movement in the future. one of our fibers fallows, and it's hard to pick on a couple to speak today because every single one of them is amazing is brilynn rakes. and if you come on up, she's just terrific and anyone of our folks from this program is terrific. they inferred 45 vip speakers
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this year and they're working collaboratively to try and change the narrative in hollywood to ensure accurate and positive media role-playing for people with disabilities. she's originally from california, and as you heard, only 7% of people who were born with disabilities currently in america by giving college degrees. and she is one of the superstars who was got her college degrees. she is a recent graduate from for the university where she earned a ba in communications while she will take more about herself, she's a superstar. come on over here, brilynn so you can be behind a microphone which is so proud to have you on our team. [applause] >> hello. i just want to stop asking a few questions. so when you first walk into a room, what do you want people to see?
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and also how do you want to be perceived by those people in the room with you? i ask myself those questions all the time, because i'm a person with a disability who also wants to dance professionally and live as full a life as possible. so i have a type of -- that cause my eyes to be very late sensitive. so i wear tinted contact lenses all the time. as darker darker than most sunglasses. in addition to that i wear sunglasses outside all the time as well. i also have -- my eyes shake back and forth uncontrollably. doctors often call this the dancing eyes. which works well for me because i made answer. having this makes trying to do. let's on shoes and hold drastic position for long. of time very difficult. i have overtime learned the
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trick to help aid that. i use my peripheral vision. i looked into the corner of the lower left corner, to do a lot of my balancing with my eyes in that way and i can stay for so much longer. and i finally found my balance. it took me a few years to get to the point but i'm really thankful i dedicate a lot of time in trying to figure that out because i'm kind of equaled the plaintiff in the dance world. i'm also legally blind. so i can see clearly about ten feet in front of me, and if we're outside and you see and you wait, if i ignore you -- i can still see you. the last part is i am fully colorblind. so i see what you guys would call grayscale, so there's no definition or determinant of color. it's just all different shades. and i memorize all my close and
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i was trying to know what colors go together and how to shop and all that stuff. when you meet me or see me for the first time you will know i'm visually impaired. i've been to different dance go from us before i told anybody. whether i'm at fordham taking classes or in the performance setting in a new place, i just try not to dwell on the vision but instead exuded confidence and capability in every situation. i do this whenever possible, even though i worry also done time the people noticed that my eyes shake or that i do this awkward side squint when i want to see something clearly.
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i don't like thinking are really talking about what i can't do because of my disability, and a few years ago when i was on dancing with the stars they kept asking me what are your challenges? what can't you do? i look at both of my pants during the interview and i said i don't really want to like say out loud, because i can do so much more than i can't do. i don't want to appear maybe week for disclosing that, but over time i have learned that my disability is such a positive part of who i am, and there's no shame and i should not be discouraged and that i can achieve whatever i want. [applause] >> and by speaking to today i just want to illustrate that the trauma and sensitivity that we experience on the inside, as well as all the day-to-day activities that we can't experience because of our disabilities, should not detract
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from how we present ourselves and what we want to accomplish. those things should not hold us back. in my opinion, they should propel us forward and they give us an edge because we have a story to tell. and, yeah. there are millions of young people with disabilities all over this country, and they all have stories and talents just like my. in my experience i've seen that they're just a scourge and bogged down by peoples low expectations for them. in the one-way know we can exceed those expectations, those low expectations for your people with disabilities issues being vigilant and pursuing a career that we love. and for me that's dancing. there's nothing more that i want than to dance on the international pact stage, international stage in a packed theater, pardon me, in my point
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shoes expressing myself. that's just my dream. and it will happen. so to answer the question posed at the beginning of this talk i want to be seen as brilynn, a passionate talented dance. i want to be perceived as hard-working, vigilant and capable in every way. and lastly i want to show my genuine personality, my skill set and all of my goals first and foremost, always being ready to share all that i've accomplished in the past and to make sure everyone knows that it will accomplish in the future. now i'd like to share part of the video. a few years ago is asked to perform on dancing with the stars to share the story edited shared with you today and it was a life-changing expense because it taught me how to start to become an advocate to really
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raise awareness that people with disabilities can achieve greatness. so enjoy the video. [applause] >> i'll never learn to stop. people use the mirror to see what they are doing another dressing i don't. i have to go from what i feel. it feels like i'm on a moving boat tried to stand on my legs. nothing else gives me that kind of joy and passion. [inaudible] >> how are you? >> good. nice to meet you.
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i can't even believe i made a dance class. i'm so excited. i don't even know. spirit perfect. >> i tell myself you can do anything anybody else can do. you just have to work a little differently. >> we got to sit in the house of the get to see it again. >> now please welcome brilynn rakes and derek off. ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [applause]♪
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♪ ♪ [cheers and applause] [applause] >> thank you, brilynn rakes pic let me just say this is one of our date teen summer fallows. if you're interested in joining our fellowship program, look at us online. we have an extraordinary group of talented people that are with us and we are currently hiring for more fellows. so brilynn will also be completing the fellowship very soon and is looking for a job in professional dancing. so that's her audition tape. and i hope that she will be on the stages of the major stages dancing professionally. but she like like some of the speakers today is clearly so twice exceptional. iq, brilynn. [applause]
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>> and i'm going to bring up another twice exceptional speaker, doctor donna walton, founder of like talk and divas with disabilities. where is her book? what is her book? i got here somewhere. somebody can bring me the book so i can hold it up. so donna walton is the author of a newly released book called shattered dreams, broken pieces, and eye-opening tale of reinvention, and tells the stories of decades walton spent working to rebuild the world and discover new confidence in a fresh sense of purpose along the way. she's a survivor of a kind of cancer, a sarcoma, life-threatening bone cancer that resulted in the invitation of her left leg when she was 18. she is the founder and ceo of like talk and she is an award-winning speaker who helps individuals and businesses fulfill their full potential.
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in 2012, this is the most exciting thing, she launched divas with disabilities project to help shape the perception of what disability looks like by promoting women of color through various media platforms. this is very important because when we see in hollywood that only 2% of the characters that we see in tv and movies are people with disabilities, only 2%, they are almost always white as the people of color don't have disabilities jessica everyone else. so your work is just so exceptional and important. and you are overcoming what you consider triple jeopardy to get where you are today, living by the motto what does a leg got to do with the? where very, very proud that dr. walton has recently also join our board of directors and she is a friend to us. so i bring you dr. donna walton. [applause]
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>> and i'm curious about the book, if someone could bring me the book. >> thank you for that introduction, and it's so wonderful to be up to follow brilynn. what a wonderful woman. you inspire me. thank you very much. so good morning and welcome again. i am so happy to be standing here today before you. when i was asked to be part of this wonderful location, my heart which is skipped beats because i would have a platform to talk and share my story. so i'm going to need your participation to help me to get started. when i ask a question i'm going to give you the answer, and the
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answer is not a thing. so i asked the question you must answer not a thing as loudly as you can. so here we go. what's a leg got to do with it? >> not a thing. >> exactly what i thought. when a female rival told me that i was lest any woman because i have one leg. excuse me, perhaps i missed something. were you to disabled? that you fought the battle with cancer that cost you a limb? what you discriminated against? have you lost your job because you have a disability? i'm just a little perplexed. have you been screened at when you park in handicapped parking space? for a split second, i was paralyzed by her insensitivity, but like a defeated fighter who to the ring to regain victory, i found fact to dismantle her
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thinking and to show that are negative perception were nothing quite accurate. i wanted to show her that thinking like this had to be challenged, that women with disabilities are much more than the sum of their body parts. that women with disabilities transcend their disability with their beauty and their ability. now, this encounter was much more than a frivolous quibble. it was war. she declared war. because her criticism of my disability was a direct threat to the positive processions i've been working all my life to hold the perceptions of women with disabilities, that we are much, much more than the sum of our body parts. and that we are standing in the affirmative, strong and
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powerful, transcending our disability. now, this encounter, as i said, was very, very important. because it was at a time in my life when my identity was -- so perhaps the one you should do with it was really something that you really take me a lot of years to come back from. and that was over 30 years ago. but you know, even today it is rather comical and equally disturbing how folks, both men and women, view me as a woman with a disability. now, take a when it comes to the standards of beauty. in fact, not a day goes by without someone, usually a male stranger, asks me, what happened to your leg? as if this is going to make or break the relationship that i don't even have one with.
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i always get really paused when asked this question, and asked the question and jeff to answer it again, what's a leg got to do with it? >> not a thing. >> thank you. now, i would like to share with you a brief excerpt from my newly released book that jennifer alluded to, shattered dreams, broken pieces, and i wrote this book to show that it's a memoir and it also talks about the context of my life in respect to reinventing yourself one something happens to you, that you don't have to be defined by that particular incident. so i would like to share this great except -- absurd because they think it speaks to the impact of stereotypes when they occur early in the stages of life. they have indelible imprints on our psyche. so here goes. back in 1981 when i was teachig
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an elementary class, a seven year old student said to me, mst married. why do you ask? why do you say that? no man will ever marry a woman with a disability. no man would ever marry you. you have one leg. he answered politely, as if his analysis was obvious. now, the reason why i share tht with you is because i didn't know at the time, while i was really knew at teaching and i was very new at being an nitpicky, but it did know at the time the profound meaning that the students comets would have on the today -- amputee -- advancing opportunities for women with disabilities. i didn't have any clue, but i realized today that that students value system and the view that he had about people
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with disabilities, women in particular, girls, was shaped very early. and also new that his attitude carries on into his adulthood, and these individuals become business owners and managers of companies. and they still hold those beliefs that people with a disability, women in particular, are less competent, less skilled, and less capable. so it was a very, very turning point for me because it showed me the pervasiveness of stereotypes and misconceptions when they are embedded early in our years. now, i want to shift to other research that has been shared with me over my decades, as jennifer spoke about. it's called the triple jeopardy singin and i won't go too far into practice of what sort of has given me a platform and impetus to the work that i do for women of color.
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a researcher called attention to the disparate treatment of african-american women with disabilities suggesting that a triple jeopardy puts in a further disadvantage because of their victims of race, gender and their disability. her research explored what it means to be an african-american and live with a disability. well, i had that experience. so our research showed we were significant at a disadvantage. so i decided to do something about that, so because it's very important that that information did not just lay dormant, and i did nothing, i was to deny to opportunities because of my disability and they knew that if i was being denied there had to be other young women of color who are being denied as well. as jennifer allude other two are actually stated in her opening remarks, employment opportunities for people with disabilities have not significantly improved in
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decades. and negative attitudes about people with disability remain. .. so they can be empowered in the a platform to change the women
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so they can be empowered in the not all divas live in hollywood they lived among us. they live in our families they are in the workforce, they are in schools there are many women with disabilities and they do not always dwell in hollywood. i want them to be positive images of us. if someone turned on a television station we would be present. they help to thrust women of color into positions so that the mass media of course would have an imagery of what disability looks like.
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in december 2012 when i lost this digital campaign there were very few women aware of this. i wanted to take this opportunity to show that there were many people. i started in 2012 and in them membership group. over a thousand members young women of color following the diva with disabilities project. i want them to be applauded for showing up today. it is evolving into a major movement. of color with all types of disability.
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it is increasing in popularity. showing up unapologetically. what disability works -- looks like by promoting women of color. i want to back up and talk a little bit about how stereotypes are just so harmful and they can really damage a women's self-esteem. that happens prior to my imputation and everything was going well of course after my
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imputation we did it again. it seems that every time i would remove my prosthetic limb he would leave my house abruptly. that my leg just got tired and walked off one day. he just was not comfortable with the prosthetic. he cannot wonder why he could not see past that. what are other members of society get a do. are they not can see past my limb. it proved that they did not. we shot that you are judged on what you see. you don't even get a chance to get to know me before asking
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what happened to me. it's all about how you look. if i don't have my cane then i'm not ask any questions. it normalizes my look but if my cane is present and somebody sees me walk away. i am immediately barraged with questions. when something happens to you. do ask others what is happening to them. i don't think so. i just want to talk about overhauling our perceptions so that we can advance opportunities for persons with disabilities. so in order for us to have a major overhaul we must think
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about in the way that we have diversity. actually i have two legs you can only see one. as i continue to work to advance opportunities for persons with disabilities particularly women of color i sometimes am reminded about that student that 7-year-old student who said to me that i would never be married. i will let that distract me. but it's really important as i mentioned the imprint that these particular stereotypes and misconceptions sort of stigmatized women with disability and it carries on into our livelihood. this is where i will have you do a call of action. if you're in a position where you can hire a person with a disability i want you to think about this.
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it is a quote by aristotle. what we repeatedly do is excellent and the senate act it's a habit. i want you to establish a habit. my call to action today to you is to get in the habit of hiring qualified persons with disabilities while -- whether it's in a starring role in hollywood. and if you happen to be in a position to interview a qualified person with a disability get in the habit of asking to yourself of course what does a disability had to do with it and of course the answer would be nothing. absolutely. i have a message for you. and it is a and it is a.
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he talked about establishing a blueprint if you can't be a tree if you can't get i'm sorry if you can't be a blush you can be a tree. if you can't be a highway just be a trail. if you can't be a son be a star. and for that. be the best at whatever you are. and if you can't fly then run. if you can't run then walk. but whatever you do move forward. i will pause here because i think you may have a question for me. >> and you don't had time. so anyway with that being said i hope that you enjoyed my talk and consider the questions was a
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got to do with it. and be prepared to answer. while she is coming to the front i just want to say a few words. respectability we have an extraordinary staff we are a new organization we literally only had five people on our staff that is how small we are. we are tiny but mighty. part of that is because of the extranet extraordinary talents of people like lauren. lauren came to us and i'm known i've known her for a long time. she previously worked at nbc news in the political unit. she has a journalism degree from
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syracuse. and as a real superstar who works almost 247. i will turn the moderating role over to lorne because she has some pretty special guests coming up here i'm very excited to see what we can learn from them. let me turn it over. we will sit for this session. can everybody cs. before we start i wanted to remind everyone who might be watching us that we also live tweeting.
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if you wanted to ask any questions during the sessions you are more than welcome and we can get to the questions asked during any of our question and answer. i wanted to introduce some very special guest right here tommy and joe marcy. at the age of three he was deemed a golf prodigy. he travels the world advocating for other limb different children. he began his global journey as a result of being a guest on the island or generous show. he has since gone on to win the hearts of millions around the world. he participate with others.
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after many national television documentaries to futures features and golf digest magazine and a robust social media without following he is is that to help other children get the help they need to fulfill their dreams just as he has. his father joe who is joining him right here is a career veteran focusing on the northeast banking demographic. he serves as chairman. before we have a chance to talk a little bit more. we love to direct your attention to the screen.
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[indiscernible] he wanted to always watch golf. different or not. >> that's not our method. this is our family.
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when i was pregnant i learned that he was good reborn with one arm. get a blood clot. he must've gotten caught. at the critical centers development. to see if there was better conditions. but thankfully there was not. the time that i wasted focusing on what time he couldn't do. not being able to play a sport or being kicked off. there were some pretty special moments in marsha's pregnancy.
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we put a plastic golf club in his hands. harry can get there. where is your aim. let's do it. you're on fire. he's arty worked it out and he's in a going to tell me what club he wants to hit. he is practicing what it is. right away he was a fan of
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finding nemo. we explained him that dean -- and nemo had a short fan. no daddy i do this. i just thought of it. in his mind he is always thinking of a way to adapt to circumstances. i could not be more proud of that. we are seeing a lot more with that. he is going to speak with them and show them how we play golf. both people believe that they are not capable of playing golf and he's gonna show them that
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they can play golf i found him. we are here to help people. our job as parents is to raise them all. we hope whatever patty goes to in this world is that he is happy and successful. [applause].
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so earlier we were talking about all of the times that you remember playing golf and the times you got to beat the pros out there. what is it that you really want to share. you want to talk a little bit about that. i challenge the two are players to a one arm contest with one arm. i went a lot. the first one was 32 out of 31. in the sextant one -- the second one was 58 at a 48.
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it is another young child here. what is it that you like to tell. it is a little bit different. they don't look the same as me. they want to do what they want to do.
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everything is possible with the right attitude. let's say that again by the proper attitude. for those of you who were able to hear tommy was talking about how the need to have a good attitude and anyone can succeed. your parents were involved with this until you were born i was wondering if you can talk a little about why the people can advocate in behalf of disabilities. my wife and i were not involved as disability advocates. obviously when life changes you
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adapt to that circumstance. in finding out your child was going to be born different than everybody else. there is an adjustment time my wife and i looked at each other and said why not us. my key we make can we make a difference. we are just a normal family that is trying to raise a child. he is no different than anybody else. the opportunity for us only occurred because into her child. we cared about the outcome of her child. he was going to be a world-class chess player. as parents. we would otherwise be cutting
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him short in life. a variety of disabilities whether it's physical or invisible. as i a grow up in american society today? >> from our experience when we looked at life we set what is the number one thing we want for life for tommy. when we begin the parenting process we work with balloons and balls. when tommy was ten months old he could catch a ball. doctors did not believe it.
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i was playing soccer with the older kids and i hit it super far at the gate and i hit someone in the have with a soccer ball. he was good at all sports at an early age. we just raise our child raised our child just like everybody else with the same love you that you all are giving to your children we always thought sports was a wonderful way to build bonds with children when you have the acceptance of your peers in a sport that is wonderful how it transforms a crossed a high school or a grade school or whatever it might be. people often ask us they say how did you get your son to like golf. speemac the answer is we didn't. just like the guys on tv. my wife and i looked at each other and said why not. let's get him some clubs. lo and behold i broke a couple
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of clubs. he broke a couple of everything in the house. it is our dedication to the passion of our child and extends past. it extends past golf. he spends a lot of time with my wife drying. a lot of time clean baseball. we are trying to raise a child that is well-rounded. he happens to be his dad pretty will in a the game of golf. >> i know that you and your wife started a foundation specifically to help children with missing limbs. can you talk a little bit more about that.
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there is incredible support. some wonderful opportunities to go ahead and support others that are facing physical challenges. the way that we've done it prior to this year without an organized body and we thought to ourselves let's formalize this and let's just go out and make a difference in as many families as we possibly can. where the additions can be brought on. we are very focused on helping those families as well as children that can't have the surgery.
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my last question before opening it up to members from the audience. it's very important to that people of all ages can see in the media the representation of who you are and why is that. with his missing fin. finn. how did that make you feel. it felt kind of weird at first. it felt really weird. yesterday when i was going through i think i said zero i
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cut my arm off. we are not hiding anything. we cut the sleeve off the shirt. we don't worry about a long sleep. we put it out there. on different occasions there is the opportunity to have a little fun. and we might have explained it in ways that might not be politically correct the fishing incident where we went sharking. the revolving door and what history to explain. and what he was gonna tell the people at the hotel that he lost his arm in the revolving door. we have a microphone so is there anyone here in the audience.
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thank you so much for your work. and for sharing your story. my question is what you say are some of the important ways in which they are traveling to different places. throughout the world has impacted you, your journey and your work. what are some of the most interesting places to which you had traveled. overnight with scotland. we have to sleep on the airplane also.
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a night when people wanted to take my pictures. i said no more pictures. we are trying to knock down some perceived barriers. it's something that we could have never thought or expected. they came thousands of hours in to meet tommy. it is the most humbling thing that we have done along this journey. and tommy was explaining that
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you land in southeast asia you better be prepared to take some pictures. but he have enough one night. and he wanted to walk away. but without question the professional organizations in the country of indonesia that has embraced the stories that had had the most impact the pga tour has done a fabulous job of embracing the story the ability for a child to go to a pga tour event and t up a ball versus a pga tour pro is considered a scratch golfer.
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it is for under par. >> par is 36. he placed second in the state of florida for state championships and this week we are at pinehurst where he is participating in world championships. 1500 children go to pinehurst and they compete for the world's best. tommy is the first child to ever qualify for world championships with one arm. and now he has two years in a row. it's what we like to say. he is creating records he is not breaking records. there is a tremendous amount of pride that comes in because of the acceptance particularly within the golf community with the story. what happens is the byproduct of that the people that are
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affected every other golf tournament. they are mercenaries. there might be 5 million interactions. it's creating a snowball effect. the number of people that view of the story. is probably globally now. it creates a new group of people. as a dad you can say they could be more proud.
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are there any more questions from the audience. tommy was telling me earlier. they've have a chance to play it. there's a shirt that they are wearing. [indiscernible]
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impressive roster for anyone who pays attention to the golf world. not so easy. i wanted to prevent -- present tommy with something. you get a present. this is a flight of the united states of america. it was flown over the u.s. capitol. at the request of the honorable brad chairman. it was flown for tommy mercy. [applause].
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this is your own flag. i will gladly put it back in here to keep it safe thank you. we want to get a picture of you because this is very exciting for us to be with you. if you don't mind standing for a minute. i want to be in that shot because this kid is such a superstar. i want to be in that shot of course. if any of our word members want to jump into that shot really quickly we are very excited. we know that tom is really the six-year-old superstar. it's really exciting. after this we will be hearing from the tv network host. please stand by.
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congratulations. thank you so much. [applause]. it's so awesome. and be sure to get that certificate because this is washington and there is a lot of
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fake news that goes around and we don't want people to think that someone pretended to fly a flag over the united states capital this is an actual proof that this was flown over the u.s. capitol in honor of you tommy. we are neck and a show video. with this wonderful tv host. you will discover people of all ages. mark summers to say hello. with the wide range contribution. it has been both successful in front of and behind the camera.
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they are hosting the longest running show on the food network. this is a job he has have for the 11 years. some well remember him as a former host of the nickelodeon show double bear and what would you do. he doubled as both correspondent and guest host. he is the executive producer of restaurant impossible on the food network. also a member of our community and we are very proud that he publicly discloses to be part of the community because for people like donna walston or tommy who has one hand. for who you can see the disability a lot of people in america who had disabilities you cannot see. and the stigma that they face. and the challenges they face because they cannot bring their all authentic 360-degree selves
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to the world is so challenging. it has been the national spokesperson for the obsessive compulsive foundation. and here about we are really big on people with the books. this is everything. everything is in its place. that's why -- trials and tribulations is recently created and performed based on his life. in october a documentary on his life on your mark will be released and he and his wife are splitting their time between los angeles and philadelphia. and both of their children are in the family business as well. let's bring a round of applause and bring up mark summers.
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thank you so much for being here today. i have learned a lot by being a peer. and hearing stories. you're right about the silence or the quietness. in the pressure would be another one as well. we thought instead of me sitting appear we would have some dialogue here. where would you like to start off. i would like to ask the basic thing. which is how did you decide to go into hollywood and how did you get to be a famous tv host. while, i came out of the womb knowing exactly what i wanted to do. i was one of the fortunate ones who knew that the entertainment industry was where i wanted to land. i'm an old guy. i used to watch something like
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the ed sullivan show. i would watch the tonight show. how do i get onstage. how i perform. and so i learned magic. it was something that spring boarded my career. in order to practice and be good at the art of magic you have to do the same thing over and over again the repetitive actions and little did i know how much obsessive compulsive disorder was a positive aspect of becoming a aspect. why because i don't let go of things. i would have people hire me if i promised him i would never call them anymore. just hire him so i don't want to
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talk to them anymore. the repetition and wanted something so passionately actually worked in my favor. can you tell us what ocd is and what it was for you personally. it rears its ugly head in many ways. if you ever saw that dateline piece. i would spend many hours on my hands and knees straightening french on the rug. i would spend many hours doing that. i was in my room and clean it and put it in order sometimes for an hour or two hours or three hours before i could start working. it was sort of a mental thing. is very predominant.
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both my grandparents on my moms side and that. she would sweep not only hurt driveway and the sidewalk and the street as well. she would put paper for under that cuckoo clock. it was so neat. we would have a cleaning lady come to her house and my father have everything perfect. if she moved the shoes he would go berserk. and i started to do this when i was a young kid. six or seven years old. i would come home from sunday school and i would spend time cleaning my room. i would dust the shelves. because when you grow up in a home where this is a regular
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occurrence didn't think it was strange that i wasn't outside playing with the other kids. it shows in other ways as well. the people who had that. it changes. and the thing that drove me our intrusive thoughts. unless you do these things in a particular way that something bad would happen. all the sudden of a sudden i started to get these requests. to go do hollywood squares. i would have to fly from philadelphia to los angeles. i would tell myself if i did not read a label a certain way that a plane would crash. or unless i was walking down the street in new york and saw something in a building did not read it properly then my son would not get on the soccer team you sometime would go back and do these things.
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i lived on the 17th floor of a building in new york city when i was hosting a show there. i would lock the door and go down the elevator walk a block away and then go back to make sure i locked the door. there are other people who have a thing where if they hit a bump in the car they think they've killed someone. they will drive back and go to my spot -- that spot for hours. i was on oprah discussing my ocd. she called me and she said do you know i am always late for dinner. if i hit a bump on the road i feel like i had damaged somebody's life. you would be surprised. they say 6 million people had ocd in the country. somehow i think it is much greater. they discuss their versions of
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ocd it's very remarkable. how does it work when you have that. and how can you exceed in the workplace. we are all about enabling people to be high achievers and you clearly had been able to do that. what are your tips for people and how to deal with this. >> i was just possessed and i have a passion for something. i give the speeches to colleges and groups around the country. it is up to me and it's up to all of us in the room to be responsible for our own happiness. it is a difficult question for me to ask i don't know how i did
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it. i just did it. i have my eye on the ball. i wanted to be on television. magic put me in front of birthday parties and then bigger groups in indianapolis. and then i started doing voiceovers. and then i became a just jockey. then i moved to los angeles. and then i got a job as a page at cbs. and then i kept auditioning. i kept pushing myself. during the process i got married when i was 22 years old. every week and weekend she was can have to clean the house with me. because when she married me. she would fold the towels. by the way we were married 43 years. the woman deserves a medal.
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i just did what i have to do but in the process used to do and and straighten french or would rearrange towels or i would straighten things over and over again. there are many people in the entertainment industry and also in all sorts of life work that are extremely successful because of the ocd that drives them. when i came having ocd you could be a drug addict or you could be an alcoholic. and all of it is about serotonin. i went on national television. and exposed myself on national tv and the next thing i know i'm writing a book.
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i'm on dateline and the today show. and the reputation and 95 and 96 was nuts. i was assigned to the promotion. the feeling was that i couldn't do this job and the reason i came and talked about it was because the discovery i have to make a choice. do i pretend i don't have it or do actually come out and discuss it. it was a major faux pas in many ways. people were afraid to hire me. the wagon back in the business
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was there was a network here. it was mostly a religious network. just to get back on television after not being on for been on for a couple of years. and then i started producing television and many other things that happened in my career were by mistake. the audition for double dare was a mistake. we got the original phone call for the audition. i went instead of him. mid- 2000 people. the way i ended up at the food network though was i was trying to promote and get a trade show. i don't know if i want to do a show with rosie and we really love her. it's been a mistake and many head to take those opportunities and run with them.
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i was always able to overcome what that ocd aspect was to push over to the next level. >> it is so hard to imagine because 70 people have a hard time restarting. we are very open and saying you have a disability. how to semi- come back from direction. the answer is always no. and so i'll head that gene that tells me not to be depressed about that. i've had many people who started that. i don't know what happened any of those people. i kept moving forward a lot of
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people gave up because they couldn't take the word no. i went to an office wants. he would never hire me because i have a nose. i was fred with ed mcmahon and gary collins. both very good friends. i said what do you think should i get it done. and they said look at this. i'll pick it makes any difference. six weeks later this executive was fired. that's how i always feel. i landed in la in 73. there was 13 years of rejection going on there. that was a magician at a magic castle. and to pay the rent forgive me for this but i hosted a wet t-shirt contest at a place called big jaws in long beach
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every sunday. but that's what you do in the entertainment industry to keep yourself going and pay the bills. my daughter who is extremely talented has turned into a yoga instructor because she got tired of hearing the word no. when the audition for the first 100 times and you hear you don't get the job i think i have 105 audition before i got my first commercial. i guess that is the way i'm wired. i'm going to turn it over to the audience and let them answer them questions. raise your hand and some it will bring you a microphone.
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do we have any takers to ask questions in the audience at this time. my name is linda grant them. this is my son eric. eric is 12. he has autism spectrum disorder along with heart disease. some speech delay but for the most part to look at him you never know he has a disability. his passion is to be a bishop in an actor. he has made to gospel single cds and is been on a couple of tv shows. i wanted to ask you if you could please tell me how i could get him into hollywood. i have also been told no no no when it comes to trying to get him into the entertainment
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industry. i don't think there's anyone answer. the key word is tenacity. firstly had to talent. as a big personality. once again i wouldn't had known he have a disability until you told me. there is that aspect of it. there is more opportunities. they aren't looking for are looking for another side and another story. you have a story to tell. america got talent is the first place i would go. not with them because someone else i spoke to ask me can your son read music and i said no. they thought that in itself was like neck in a be a good thing.
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don't listen anybody. nobody knows. there are many well-known musicians do not read music is persistence and not letting go. and you have to use every thing. we will hold this up. this is what you have to do. that's fantastic. along those lines only 2% of the characters that we see on tv are people with disabilities.
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in almost every time that they are on their white in almost every time they are played by an actor who does not have a disability. i'd do have that conversation. can we be in the picture also they had board meetings on a regular basis. i think it's getting better i'm doing this and comes out in october. ocd is pretty funny. the actions are quite silly. they can also be quite painful. years ago on a show they talked about tourette syndrome.
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that opened up all sorts of doors. i was on every total show. i'm a personality. i think it's important for people who have these disabilities to go to agents, managers and heads of unions and just like this meeting is happening here for an awareness situation. maybe you folks can work with the folks from la who do the unions and say we need have a meeting in years ago when they would have those meetings and had real native americans playing the roles. on sometimes it can be applied pain in the you know what. they had zero sense of humor.
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in years ago if you watch the ed sullivan show. there were hispanic medians and italian comedians. they were allowed to make fun of estimate that is. now he gets very nervous about that. we need to come down and remember that we need a sense of humor to get through life. if you guys got some campaigns together. and went to that stephen spoke the steven spielberg's of the world. who are the people that were embracing. .. ..
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i didn't hour with howard stern which when i went on that show my wife was scared to death, okay? she said he talked with anything about our lives personal we are dead. but howard has admitted to having obsessive-compulsive disorder so we were able to have, by the way to meet its like the best interview and broadcast. say what you will about income he's brilliant. he was very good about opening up and getting the word out. you need to get people in the industry who have a voice and who can take everything with
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talking about here today and get the word out to more and more people. this is a nice turn after we have people on watching but what do you do when you leave today? how do you keep the message going? that's the most difficult part. throughout washington today and every office building there's another meeting going on about some other issue. how do you break through, that's the most difficult part. >> you make an c-span is so important. c-span bring so many new voices to america and i think some of the people watching us on c-span today found this show very much by accident. the people who were in the room intentionally wanted to be here. they are part of a disability community i wanted to talk about disability issues. but the people who are watching on c-span, again they are accidentally now a part of our family. so what kinds of messages would you like to get to them who haven't thought about people with a disability or i want to get engaged? what are some of the things they
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can do our things for them to think about? >> it's an awareness campaign. you have to let people know that these things exist, okay? we've been talking about hiring people with disabilities. i always like to thank, i'm from the woodstock generation. i always thought our group was going to change everything. everything was going to be fine. then i thought my son son and daughters generation scorching everything, and things get incrementally better but not as good as we would like them to be. here was a gentleman who so handsome and at such a big personality and he didn't have an arm. and the inlaid who doesn't have a leg. who cares? it's like you say, what difference does that make? look at the whole person, look at their mind. can they do what you need them to do? i was picked up this morning and that these nice gentleman. he says he has a disability. i don't know, i had to push up an incline today but that's the only only does but also within.
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whether we're on capitol hill, there's a hell of a hill let me tell you. i saw the poor to do that and you are going to step back and i don't know when to jump in and not jumping to asset to a sensed exist if you want to help going. you got to be like another reference to gorgeous george, which have different arms like a wrestler to go up there. because the man capuchins up, up a hill, really? i'm talking to them, he's intelligent as in human being i've ever met, maybe more so. you got to get past the no lake, no arm come he's in a wheelchair. who the hell cares? i think is what we need to get to. how do you get to that point? repetition. maybe that's her ocd comes in. maybe we keep hammering this message over and over and over again and telling people -- [applause] that that's the way to do it. i talked about 80% of people in this room. some of you i can show to suppose because you are here but once again i couldn't tell, okay? unless you hold a sign that says i'm autistic, or i is a ocd or
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i'm depressed, chances are people are not going to know. i would make a big deal about. i would walk in the door and say hey, i have a disability because there's no need to bring it up because we can't get past that. we are all just people, that's what it comes down to, we are all just people. >> questions from the audience? >> anything else? yes, sir. >> what's your name? >> my name is darren cole. call. my question for you is, who with disabilities finds to the way to cope with it come that might find strength the outside. how did you i guess find a way to get other people around you to know you are no different? what is your disability? >> some people are never comfortable with a disability. people still make jokes about me fluffing pillows. the big thing was we would have people over for thanksgiving and when i wanted people to i would take out the vacuum cleaner.
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[laughing] >> as soon as i started vacuuming, you knew it was time to leave. marc had had enough. and to think essence of you are is key to the whole situation i had another friend were both friends comportment just passed away, but when he was done, his wife loves to throw parties but he was needed to me. he was flushed the lights three times. that meant get the hell out of the house. i think you have to be clever and smart and have a sense of humor about it, and also make fun of yourself. he goes i knew i was doing these things, they weren't necessarily normal, whatever that normal is. but as my wife used to say, when my daughter used have kids over and they would color and it would get crayon on the rug, i would bring out the rug cleaner and start scrubbing it. and she would say don't do that. it was hard for me not to do that but then i could wait until the kids got out of the room so i could do it. i'll tell you one story you won't believe this one but it's true. we had moved into a new house in
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california, and my son was turning i think four or five years old. we're going to do a birthday party. new wood floors, new walls, everything absent in my life, please i'll take the kids to disneyland and we'll go to universal, apply them chicago whatever. i just do what al all the statistics she said where buying house so we would use. i figured out how tall the average five-year-old kid was, true story commander went and bought butcher paper and align the entire house with butcher paper so that way if the for the fingerprints on the walls it would get on the paper. so the word got around the neighborhood that i done this and literally everybody in the neighborhood came over to knock on the door and are a couple cheap but they look at it go really? you get a reputation in some way, so it was, relief that many of people in the neighborhood. i used it. i use because i knew it was ridiculous but the only way i knew how to deal with it was with a sense of humor. the difficult part is, this were my wife and i would have
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discussions, you make others around you feel uncomfortable. that's where the dividing line is. you have to train yourself to i initially went on medication i went to behavior therapy classes. the behavior therapy classes are what turned me around but i also believe this. i have no done any drugs, never smoked a cigarette and a drink very little alcohol. but i know people have those kind of problems come have to want to get rid of them before they actually can. i would be in my behavior therapy class and i would have people every week you would have to say what were the issues you had that week, and they would say the same thing every week. i'm on this med, this med, this meant and i can't. i finally stood up one day and said look, i don't know about the rest of you but it wasn't out of my life. unless you want to turn allies are either yet to get out of it or i have to get out of you. i finally left because a good deal with it that i did on my own through the tools are learned in the class. i also think there are ways beyond disabilities if you have depression and/or ocd or some of these serotonin kind of
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situations that if you really want to get rid of you can. you can't go another late and you can't go another arm so that's a whole other issue. that's we have to get the american public and the world to understand that there is no difference. so we're fighting many different things, mental things, fighting physical things and we're fighting, it's all about education. everything is about education. i think until we educate the rest of the people about what it is we can do, we are all kind of stuck. i like to use me as an example and woody allen who supposedly has ocd, certainly howard hughes has it. he was an unusual ascent of man but he was very intelligent. there are many, many, many more people who have these disorders who have been very successful and what drives them, what motivates them i'm not terribly sure that once again awareness awareness awareness. let the world know where no different than anybody else. >> marc you mention some very big names in hollywood who could really make a difference on this issue.
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but perhaps you can give us kind of a 101 on hollywood. he mentioned unions and adjust had to say this is washington, d.c., where we know the minutia of every kind of thing on how a bill becomes a law, but how a a show becomes a show and gives greenlighted, we know nothing about that. who are sort of the roles of the people in hollywood that could make decisions that would change the world for people with disability? >> how does a show good of the aircraft i've been doing the show for 40s and have still not sure. that's right place, right time. what are they looking for is the big question? when food network started, the first big star was bobby flay, 20th later still a big star in food network. he's like a mainstay picky is a guy you go to. bobby out of thing as ever had an unsuccessful show on food network. rachael ray, i is a massive star on food network.
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answer then these people become producers. for instance, guys producing television. body is producing television and because they have a voice on a particular network, they have a sort of an open door to go in there. it's a matter of finding i gues who those major celebrities are on the network you would like to go to. certainly if you could get to oprah, this woman pulls off magic tricks and she is one of the premier exceptions to talent in the world. i mean, whatever oprah wants, oprah gets. can she get her idea? she owns a network for god's sake someone would think at least the people who work with her and under that help in the situation. if you attach us up to somebody who's got power in the industry speakers like marc. >> also wish i was as rich as f i thought i was, bu but i thinkf you find yourself with somebody who has some clout, the musical chairs when it comes to
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management, whoever is head of nbc, cbs or abc today may not be there in the next three to five years. there are certain people have been there longer than others, but network presidents and people in power of what it's all about in the entertainment industry. what does a show runner due course a different meaning. i'm an executive reason that means i'm responsible for the overall program. i responsible for working with the network. i have to budget the program and make sure we stand budget. i hire and fire everybody and the show runners generally a person beneath me who executes the day today and make sure everything gets produced. that's different in reality and talk and games and it is in movies and sit-coms and things like that. there's a little differentiation in each. i would say fis giving advice, that if i was giving advice can go to the present evidence a new vote, new present about to happen, sit and have a meeting and let's see if we can open up the door about using people of
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real disabilities and what are the causes. we want to do went on depression, ocd, a people of autism? what are the things would like to do? it would be a good program on a regular basis on a weekly basis to discuss a different disability and do a story on somebody who's been successful, dancers. here's a really talented attractive lady who got on "dancing with the stars." how do you take it to the next level? i would hope that would help but it's all about getting the word out. once again nobody got up and said i had to get marc summers job. if you're going to sit hope helps him and will hire you, that will never be the case. you must get up in the morning, having mission and go after that and just check things off and not give up. i've got to tell you it's brutal. the answer is no most of the time but you're going to find a one person and 1000 to open up that door. use of the think i'll be safe if i would've addition for doubleday when i first came to
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l.a. i would've gotten because i wasn't seasoned enough. but when a addition i was 33. i had 13 years under my belt sides ready to knock it out of the park. timing is also essential. you only get one opportunity to make a first impression but you better be ready when that door opens. if you screw it up you're not getting back in that door again, that's the other thing. whether you have a disability or not. >> are there any more questions from the audience? margaret, in the back. wait a minute. >> i'll come back to you. here i come. don't go away. how are you? >> good thanks. earlier you talked about how -- [inaudible] as a person with disabilities, i noticed there's some obstacles i was expecting to deal with that had to work with my supervisor and figure out. so you talked how humor is a big
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part of making people feel comfortable with disability. what other things have you adopted to address issues when it comes to your disability? >> good question, the question every day is a challenge. for you, for me ever maybe everybody in this room. when people say where you care from ocd? i with an 80% could. i don't think you're 100% could. i have an issue walk into grocery stores in reading labels. and so i tried to stay out of those situations. when my wife wants to go grocery shopping i say have a nice day, tell me how that goes. if you know that there are certain things that bother you and you can avoid them, i think that's a key issue but there are other times when things heat you straight in face that you weren't aware of which i think is what you're talking about. then how do you deal with it?
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i guess from strength. everybody in this room i feel is a little bit stronger than everybody outside this office building. why? because you have to be. your entire life you had to deal with stuff that people outside these walls haven't had to deal with. as far as facing things that are the unknown i'm not worried about you. you're here, you're smart, your articulate. you've got all going for you. if you take two steps back because you get figure at that moment you will be fine. you will figure it out. not a problem. you're welcome. >> just amazing to have you here. >> thank you. thanks for asking. >> there was a flag also flown in your honor. >> very nice. seo neeley it is is folded. that's fantastic. [laughing] i want to put in the box because i don't want to mess it up. but thank yo thank you very muc. this is an honor and i am so grateful to have this opportunity to get the word and speak to all you folks and hope you have a great day and a wonderful afternoon. thank you so much for inviting me.
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[applause] >> marc summers, sulfide was. listen, ties, we run a tight ship run the scheduling here so i'll tell you how to windward. first of all, leah daniels butler is here in the room. we are so excited. stephen kangas is also in the room. we had some great speakers right after lunch. in fact, leah brought him on so we are very glad to have her here. in summer or has been busy. i see out under will also be speaking this afternoon. the weights going to work is where going to have a short break. we're going to go have an opportunity for people who want to use the cafeteria downstairs. our team african give you directions for how to get to the rayburn cafeteria. and we'll start sharply at 1:00. so start sharply at 1:00. but meanwhile for those who are on c-span let me just invite you to check this out on
3:47 pm online. check us out on facebook and on twitter. want to remind you we have a national leadership program that we are currently hiring for. we had 15 wonderful superstar young leaders with us here now, but that cohort is about to end and we're looking for new applicants. so marc summers you were terrific. every speaker that we had this morning was terrific. let's give them all around of applause. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> later today a forum on the threat posed by north korea and what the international response should be. live coverage begins at 4 p.m. eastern on c-span2, online a, or on the free span radio lab. >> the hill reports today utah republican house natural resources committee chair rob bishop intends to retire after his next term


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